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Minnesota State Erases Big Deficit to Tie St. Cloud State

St. Cloud State looked poised to run away with Saturday afternoon’s game against Minnesota State when they scored twice within 35 seconds in the first period to take an early 2-0 lead, and extended that lead to 3-0 early in the second period.

But Minnesota State turned today’s Hockey Day Minnesota game into a classic by fighting back to earn a 3-3 tie, capped off by a game-tying goal in the third period by Emma Wittchow,though St. Cloud State would go on to take home the extra league point in a six-round shootout.

St. Cloud State is now 7-16-3 on the season, 5-13-2 in WCHA play, while the Mavericks are now 6-18-3 on the season, 3-15-2 in WCHA play.

Notes and Thoughts:

-There’s no doubt that this is a much different Minnesota State team than in year’s past. There is still a long ways to go, but John Harrington certainly seems to have the Mavericks headed in the right direction.

They were more than just competitive this afternoon against a St. Cloud State team that is a year or two ahead of them in a similar program rebuild. The Mavericks controlled long stretches of play in the St. Cloud State zone, and ending up with a 3-3 tie is probably an unjust result given their possession numbers.

It’s also worth noting that the Mavericks are basically playing with house money this year. They only lose two senior skaters out of their line-up next year who have a combined 2-3-5 scoring line and return everybody else, while bringing in a nice freshman class. They should be even more competitive with the league next year.

-Part of the credit for that goes to St. Cloud State. They’re not really going to run-and-gun with anyone, especially with top scorer Julia Tylke out of the line-up, but they’ve got strong goaltending in freshman Janine Alder, and they do a good job of protecting her and limiting shots to the perimeter. The Huskies got out-attempted by the Mavericks by a lot, but the number of attempts from the prime scoring area were pretty similar, if not slightly in St. Cloud State’s favor.

And when the Huskies got opportunities, they did a good job of taking advantage of them.

-Something you don’t see every day: Minnesota State’s Hannah Davidson had two wrap-around attempts, both on the same side of the net, go to video review within a span of a couple minutes. The first one clearly didn’t go in, though it seemed an argument could have been made for a penalty shot(a mistake that can’t be corrected by video). The second was much closer. Somebody standing behind the net tweeted at me that it clearly went in. Here’s the video of the play, which doesn’t look conclusive to me.

-Tough night for MSU senior goalie Brianna Quade who was pulled after the third goal. Katie Bidulka was good as her replacement. One of her biggest saves came on accident when a backdoor one-timer by St. Cloud State hit her when she wasn’t looking. That save came with her team down 3-2 in the third period and was a game-changer since the Mavericks eventually tied it up. She was brilliant in the overtime too, making three Grade-A stops to preserve the point for the Mavericks.

-Attendance was listed at 638, which was the largest crowd of the season for the Huskies at home.

Fancy Stats

Shots on goal: SCSU: 11-3-8-5-27 MSU: 14-8-7-2-31

Even strength shot attempts: SCSU: 16-12-17-5-50 MSU: 23-15-15-4-57

Prime scoring area attempts: SCSU: 6-7-6-3-22 MSU: 6-4-6-0-16

What do the numbers tell us?

Minnesota State took more shots, but St. Cloud State took more shots from close-in range.

Final Scoring

First Period

11:03 Alyssa Erickson from Brittney Anderson and Hannah Potrykus 1-0 St. Cloud State

Erickson picked up a pass at the top of the left circle and her high wrist shot beat Quade over the shoulder

11:38 Janna Haeg from Payge Pena and Kayla Friesen 2-0 St. Cloud State

Haeg picked up a loose puck along the goal line to the right of Quade and was able to stuff the puck into the net for the goal.

Second Period

1:55 Kayla Friesen from Jenna Haeg and 3-0 St. Cloud State

Haeg tried a stuff attempt at the left side of the net, and Quade was able to make the save, but Friesen followed up the play on the right side and was able to jam home the rebound.

7:21 Emily Antony from Jordan McLaughlin and Lindsey Coleman 3-1 St. Cloud State

McLaughlin and Antony skated down the ice on a 2-on-1. McLaughlin made a pass from right-to-left to Antony, and she finished off the play with a wrist shot over the shoulder of Alder.

15:58 Sara Bustad from Hannah Davidson and Corbin Boyd 3-2 St. Cloud State

Davidson won a puck behind the St. Cloud State net that dribbled out to Bustad at the right face-off circle. Bustad took a one-timed slap shot that beat Alder high to the glove side.

Third Period

6:34 Emma Wittchow from Hannah Davidson and Corbin Boyd 3-3 tie

Wittchow took a shot into traffic from the left point. It deflected off an SCSU defender and past Alder for the goal.

Overtime

None

Shootout

Six rounds. SCSU’s Lauren Hespenheide with the winning goal.